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 Post subject: Musings on Tommies
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:56 pm
Posts: 431
Hi all

Been to see Tommies yesterday with DS1. The young man who showed us round was rather shy but he appointed himself well. We were grouped with some 'let's see every room and talk to every single teacher and ask 20 very pointed questions to each one' type of parents. It did become a little wearisome after a while :oops: :roll:

However, I did like the discipline within the school and the pomp and ceremony. DS liked it, although I am not sure if it is because of the education he would get there or because it is close to home and he does not fancy a bus ride to school :?

I liked the fact that the sciences are not combined, Physics and Biology in yr 7 and then Chemisty phases in in yr8.

Maths is streamed at the end of Yr8 where there is one top set and two below that and a further two below this again (5 in all). The top set take GCSE a year early and then do AS additional maths. The 'weakest' of the bottom groups are taken out for extra support to ensure all student achieve thoe valuable A*-C grades.

There was a big emphais on getting those top grades but that's grammar! I did not manage to catch the heads speech unfortunately and would be grateful if someone on the forum has could they post the basics of it for me?

Overall...liked the school, DS1 liked the school, so let's just get this blasted exam over and done with so we can make some decisions! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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We went last night because DS2 wanted to go again and DS1 had agreed to help out in I.T room, an excuse to play computer games all evening :roll: . Last year we visited Crypt, Tommy's and our local comprehensive school.

This year just Tommy's because with DS1 there it is the school we want for him.

That said both boys liked it best of the three they went to last year. DS2 particularly wants to go to it, he felt the boys were friendlier there and the building was cleaner than the other schools, was a bit dismayed to find chewing gum under the pool benches last night :lol: . I question his judgement though because the two boys that showed myself and DH around Crypt last year were an absolute delight and really sold the school to me.

I liked both schools. I was shown around Tommy's by a year 6 girl which with hindsight was not a good thing. She wasn't able to sell the school like the two year 8 boys had at Crypt.

I didn't hear the speech last night but would imagine it was much the same as last year i.e a summary of its results, excellent ofsted etc, I believe they pipped Pates in one of the league tables this year :wink: . All the competitiveness does make me laugh. Pretty much what is in the book you get.

The biggest pluses for me are the 35 minute lessons. As the maths teacher explained last year they work hard for that time and then a five minute break walking to next lesson gets rid of their energy, this would be essential for DS2 who needs to be busy. Their math's results are impressive no doubt about that, last year nobody got a C at GCSE and only one this year, poor lad.

I was very concerned about their English results and was far more impressed with Crypt's English department. However I heard last night that there had been a long term staff absence and they now have a new head of English. She teaches my older son and on seeing her last night I liked her, he definately enjoys his lessons with her and is already improving.

If it was in walking distance, as it is for you, I wouldn't even consider another school unless I was forced to. As I had to remind DS2 last night who in his enthusiasm for the school had completely forgotten the little hiccup of last Sunday's mock test results :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:05 pm
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.


Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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Hi, actually streaming in maths happens at the beginning of year 8 since my son is in one of the 2 lowest ones - the great thing being there's only 8 of them. Literary doings are very much our strength (although husband excellent at maths, 100% in maths component at degree level and I enjoyed it so we don't quite get why he just doesn't get it and are hoping that enlightenment comes one day :roll: ). But luckily we're not the sort - nor are his friends - to attach any stigma to it (as I'm sure no one is here!) I'm just relieved that they catch the ones early who find it hard and give them the help they need. In such small groups they can really establish that everyone DOES understand it and not get swept along and then left behind.

Last year my boy's English teacher was a little, er, strange, but he is very much more pleased with this one. A friend of mine who looked round in the day went into his physics lesson and said she wished she'd been taught physics like that since it made it so much more vivid.

I was shown round this time by two sweet lads from Y7. Just me, DS2 and 2 Y7s. No eager beaver other family, thank goodness! I deliberately avoided the 6th form girl (sorry girls!) since last time we got one and she'd only been there, obviously, a matter of weeks and really couldn't do anything but point at classrooms, something I could have managed on my own.

Going in to view in the day, what I love is the pin drop silence that happens the moment the heavy guns arrive - deputy head or some such - during assembly. And, the few times I've nipped in with forgotten items, I have always been so taken by the atmosphere which has always seemed really positive and amiable.

Distance is our problem - and a good local comp. Sometimes I wonder why we're doing it, and I asked my DS1 today if he wished we'd sent him there instead. He was very keen to say how pleased he was to be there, has made a great group of friends etc.

The trouble is that it is such be all and end all stuff at this stage that really, maybe, we expect too much from the schools??


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:35 pm 
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..............


Last edited by Glos_Mum on Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:21 pm 
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they have the same form teacher from years 8 to 10! My main gripe with the place is the static forms. Come year 10 they mix them up completely for GCSEs but til then you're with who you're with. That's all very well if you like your form group (like my boy does) but his best friend doesn't like his so much which makes school less attractive for him (he's got the uber sporty class, by chance).

Quite right about the setting - far more important to be in one right for your standard than scraping into the one above and floundering. I was, to be honset, thrilled that he got the bottom set for his very reason. To be one of 8 gives him so much better a chance of (hopefully!) attaining some understanding (he tends to over-complicate terribly and assume he's wrong so some confidence will do wonders). A boy from his own school (terribly competitive parents) crows a bit about being in the main group (I think they weed out 4 from each class leaving 24 and making 2 lots of 8, rather than "proper" setting). But my boy takes it in his stride, he is quite popular and the other boy isn't and won't be brought down by it. You're not made and finished by 12 or 13!


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